Climbing Down Off The Window Ledge

Something shifted almost immediately after pressing publish on my last post. I talk about pressing publish all the time. Which, unless you blog, you may not understand. But it’s similar to the window ledge. Pressing publish and jumping.

When I press publish, there is a sense of empowerment that happens. Sort of like saying “I choose.” And over the last two days, I’ve been choosing to step out of the window and down from the ledge.

I thought about writing it down, so I could remember how to do it next time. Because I’m learning, there is usually always a next time. Otherwise it wouldn’t be called practice. There will be another window ledge moment.

The first thing I noticed after pressing publish were the familiar voices of fear asking me to doubt myself again. Was I sure? Was it appropriate? Does it matter?

In they come. All gathering around me to console me in some way. Like, “I’m so sorry you have to be you and make all these mistakes all the time.” Hideous. Obsurd even. And even hideous-er is that I actually stop for a minute, sometimes even longer, getting distracted going down that rabbit hole.

So I took a walk. And I decided I wanted to feel better. I mean, taking the walk in the first place was a “feel better” thing for me to do. I’m on this window ledge… what can I do to feel better right now?

And as I was walking and reminding myself that that’s what I want, is to feel better, my eyes distracted me, in a good way. And I found myself in a familiar but distant-at-the-time land of Gratitude. I noticed colors first. Flowers. I said, “That is so beautiful. That is SO beautiful. Boy it’s nice to see beauty. I like seeing that. I like seeing beautiful things.”

Followed by a beautiful moment of recognizing a sense of peace, relief, easy breathing.

Which is me being aware of myself. How I was feeling. Being aware that I am aware. Awareness. Coming back to the moment.

Remembering the good that started it… Gratitude.

Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude.

What is already good that I’m just missing the boat on? Where is good floating on by but I’m just not focused on that? My attention is… well stolen. Or unguarded. My attention. Drifting away like a small just-walking child wanders to & fro, bumping into things, waking up, forgetting again.

Focus. Beauty. Gratitude.

Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude.

Remembering… gratitude is a way through. I can count on gratitude.

I can count on gratitude.

I can count on seeing the good if I’ll remind myself to look for it.

Make it the most important priority. See the good. Feel better.

I’m still up on that window ledge. I’m just slowing, gently easing myself into a new direction. In this case, down from the window ledge. Instead of wanting to jump out and get from here to there in 2.5 seconds. Or just be done with it. The learning. Or karma. Or whatever it is.

Easy does it. Moving down off the window ledge.

When It Hurts, It Hurts. Period.

Earlier this week, I found myself in a 5-story window, ready to jump (it’s a metaphor, just so we’re clear here).

I had decided to write about that and pressed publish. Again.

Most of the time, I talk about the anxiety and fear that comes up when I do that. How my self-doubting voices surround me and try to coax me out of a perceived risk I’m considering. It’s always risky to share more of who I am, what is actually taking place in my life right now. It feels silly. Shallow. Too self-focused. Uninteresting.

However, after talking with Charlie Gilkey over the weekend, I realized that most of the stuff I consider as possible ideas for posts (or anything really) are, in fact, really great.

Not because he told me so. Because he doesn’t (usually) do that.

I realized it because when he shares what he’s thinking about or in the middle of working on, I always think it’s great and can’t wait to hear more or read more about it.

We get into these conversations that go very deep and with Charlie, I’m not really holding anything back. Nothing.

And as I talk out loud with him about the ideas I have for writing or expressing myself in general, he reciprocates the very same interest in my stuff that I do his.

Which is when I cross over and into, “I could definitely be writing about this and sharing more of my journey. There IS, in fact, benefit for others by doing so.” Maybe I’ll just claim a new flag for now that says, “If it’s good enough for Charlie, it’s good enough for you too.”

Not to mention, I’m telling clients all the time, subjects to write about are presenting to us daily. Just look around your life. You’ll find something to write about. Usually, we get in our own way and stop just short of the start line.

So my post about Jumping Out of 5-Story Windows was my start line.

I took whatever was showing up in my life and began to talk about it more truthfully, using my blog. I’ve been doing a lot of truth telling to my support circle. In all honesty, I don’t feel like I have as big of a challenge telling to truth out loud, as I do writing it down. I believe that if it gets written down, it has to be something more than just telling the truth.

But just telling the truth is miraculous, all by itself.

And now we’re back to pressing publish again. Because it was a moment of truth telling. And it wasn’t until I was willing to tell my truth, that I was able to begin moving in a new direction. Or, get unstuck. Releasing the deadlock I was having that got me up on the window ledge to begin with.

So many times, I want to do things fast or quickly. I want to get to where I’m going… but there’s traffic. I want my business to be more solvent, like NOW please! I want results. Honestly, without doing any of the preliminary work to get them.

And it just doesn’t work like that.

If we skip a stone across the babbling stream, life will always find a way of bringing us back to it for the learning. We cannot NOT miss it. We think we’re doing ourselves a favor by jumping over it. Other times we think it’s best to just go around it or pretend we don’t even see it.

Every stone I’ve skipped, for whatever reason, I’ve been brought back to. There are no short-cuts. And there wouldn’t be any on the window ledge either.

And since there was going to be no faster way of getting down, I surrendered a little. I realized that getting down “in my time” would require patience with myself. And a willingness to show myself a bit more compassion and lot more love. Some generosity.

After all, if it had been you up on that window ledge, I wouldn’t have asked you to just hurry up and get down from there. But I do it to myself all the time.

And in the moment of choosing to be a little more compassionate with myself, the resistance backed off just the teensiest bit. When you are in high anxiety, even the teensiest bit of relief can feel like a huge weight lifting.

There’s a shift. Out of resistance, into relief.

Tiny. Miniscule. Yet, it’s always enough.

So really, the very first thing I practiced that helped me off the window ledge, was compassion with myself. Compassionate meant saying out loud, this is where I am.

Acknowledging the window ledge and that I was on it.

Instead of focusing so much on how to get out of it, solve it, feel better… whatever. I simply started where I was. And said, yep this is where I am.

And there was a freedom in that. A freedom that came from facing what I didn’t want to face.

That I am hurting. And I didn’t know what to do (I’ve tried everything!) And I feel like jumping out of this window.

By admitting it out loud, I no longer was using energy to fight with that. I was accepting what is. Which created a new space. For me take a deep breathe. And in that moment of breathing deeply into the pain of what I was feeling, a little bit of grace entered and asked me, “Doesn’t that feel better?”

And it did.

One of the biggest challenges I see with being human today, in our culture, is this dynamic of refusing to feel our feelings.

No one ever taught us how to do that in a healthy way (speaking for myself here and about 99% of my coaching clients).

We’ve been conditioned to “do something” with our feelings. And rarely does it include, feeling them. If we show up too brightly as children, “You better settle down. Don’t get too big for your britches!” Or if we hurt too deeply, “You better knock that off right now! It’s time to buck up, get on with it. Don’t be a cry baby!”

And yet, by refusing our feelings, we reject a part of ourselves. We think, “If I just scoot this over here (jump over this stone), I can still get to where I’m going (and maybe even faster!) Plus, dealing with emotions is sometimes messy and I just don’t have time for that!”

And any unresolved emotional stuff, that we refuse to feel, even if we think it’s better for us, loads us down with baggage. Suitcases full of sore spots. That are easily triggered. Until we learn how to face them with grace.

Because it’s really part of our self yearning to be healed, saying, “I’m here! I need your love. Your attention. If only for a moment.” First steps can take just a moment. Pressing publish did. Writing about it was actually easier than I thought too. And I felt better for it.

Feelings don’t go anywhere. They must be acknowledged. And we can choose to acknowledge them with judgment and criticism or acknowledge them with grace and generosity.

But getting off of 5-story window ledges will not happen with judgment and criticism. In fact, judgment and criticism only keeps me stuck on the window ledge. Judging myself for not knowing how I got there, how to get down, what I’m doing wrong, what I need to do more of, how must I contort myself to get outta this window?

I got outta the window by telling myself the truth, feeling all the messy feelings (hurt, loss, grief, betrayal). All of it. And giving all those feelings the simple courtesy of being. Existing. And putting my foot firmly down on that stone.

Then I could move forward to the next one, which was the beginning of coming down off the window ledge.

There’s more “window ledge conversation” coming next week where I’ll share the miracle of how I finally started getting what I needed without requiring the participation of anyone else in the situation to be or do something other than what they were already being/doing.

That shift could not unfold without me first acknowledging the painful feelings of wanting to jump.

Acknowledge it. Feel it. It’s counter-intuitive to what you’ve been trained to do. But it’s the only way to get to where you’re going.

Wanna Coach For Free?

Update: (May 1, 2010) I may be offering another free coaching opportunity as soon as June 1st. You can subscribe to stay tuned. 🙂

Wanted: 4 New Clients For 30 Days of FREE Coaching

So Charlie has been talking some super great points on pricing. I’ll probably end up re-reading all his pricing posts, hoping a little more sticks the second time through!

I’m not sure how this idea will line up with his ideas about pricing. The giving-it-away-for-free part. And the whole pricing placebo thing.

A sweet spot of perception we’re aiming for that helps the buyer feel like they got a good deal and also impact their pocketbook in a way that inspires them to decide to do it.

Whatever it is. Read the ebook, use the planners, or in this case, get access to coaching.

So if I give it away for free, does it diminish the value? I’m not sure. But I’ve decided I want to keep trying new stuff. All the time. Stretch and learn.

And work on visualizing more and being mindful of whether I’m trying, pushing or affecting effort in my actions less.

Try hard became deal breakers when I decided how good easy can be.

Here’s what I got.

Free coaching for 30 days. Or four free coaching sessions. For four perfect customers.

It’s an opportunity to get some feedback, perception tweaks and strategies for everyday challenges or maybe even address something bigger. That you’re ready to face. In a fearless new way.

And the deal is, because the coaching is free, I’m gonna qualify you. Which means there’s an application (more on that later).

This coaching is free and mine to give away so I’m deciding to pick the kinds of people I think I’d have the most fun with and would get the most benefit from, in both directions 🙂

It’s like a vetting process. Which makes me think of politicians. Running for governor. I guess in a way I’m signing up to help you with your campaign strategy. Ha!

So I’m being strategic about who I’m saying Yes to.

These are just a few of the qualities that the You’s-that-say-yes-to-this-offer will have:

  • Willing to be coached. I’m not a built in friend. Or therapist. I’m a coach. I want to coach. If you’d like a coach and a strategist for helping you get jedi on some stuff (whatever your stuff is), we’ll make a great team.
  • Ready to get down and get dirty. It’s serious business. Looking into the closet and pulling our shizzle out. Ack! Seriously? In every way. With dignity, humor and loads of compassion.
  • Committed to showing up. And scheduling four consecutive weekly appointments. Occurring on the same day & time (again going for easy here).

The offer of free coaching for one month begins to expire the moment you say yes to it. I know. And I need some boundaries on this thing. To keep me sane while I do the coaching!

There will be a no-charge telephone “interview” for the job. Both of us having a ‘Do we fit?’ kinda conversation. And at the end of the job interview chat, if we hire each other, you’ll book your next session right then and there. If we didn’t get the job, well we’ll figure that out too. Mostly just saying our thank you’s and good luck’s!

Where’s the hook?

Instead of making you wonder where and when it’s coming, I’ll just tell you there isn’t one.

At the end of four weeks, you decide whether or not you wish to continue. If you decide to continue, you begin paying me at my current coaching rate of $60 bucks a session. My coaching rate is going up June 1st. Right now, it’s still a buck a minute for kick ass fear jedi training.

But you get to decide.

And you can decide later even. And I’ll be straight up and say I hope you’ll be throwing money at me and eager to continue our coaching relationship. I won’t hide that. Not gonna do it. That’s what I wish! I want to coach.

But you can also decide to take the free four week jedi training you’ve already received and say “hasta la vista baby.” Not in a totally final way. It could be an open-ended, “I’ll be bock!” kinda way too.

The reason why this would be ok for me is because I have a very strong hunch you’ll at least be willing to tell other people about it. But if you can’t afford to continue or “got just what you needed,” really the easiest and most effortless thing you could do for me is spread the word.

Or not, in the case of “end of story.”

How to say yes to free coaching.

Ok, this is the part where I’m not exactly sure how to do it (can you believe I offer business strategy and consulting services?)…

Seriously. Should it be a mailing list where I pick a name? I mean, isn’t it all about the mailing lists?! Sigh.

Jedi: What would be easy for you?

Me: Ahhhh. Hmmm. Well, yeah. Let’s see. Easy. Easy would be… well I’ve already got the magic number. The magic number is four. Four new clients. This month. Wow, feels kinda nervy too.

Jedi: A sure sign to do it.

Me: Right.

Jedi: How would you like these four people to say yes to you?

Me: Wouldn’t it be nice if a few of them DM’d on Twitter? And wouldn’t it be nice if oh oh oh, I got it… the four slots went super duper fast and a few other people wanted a slot but they were taken so they signed up for a list? To be on the waiting list! Which became the  “new free coaching slot available” list? Wouldn’t that be cool?

Jedi: Good. What else?

Me: I guess they can send me an email. An email that said something about the free month of coaching offer. So that would basically make it first come first serve. Basically. Right?

Jedi: Sounds good to me. Speaking of emailing you, tell them about the application.

Me: Yeah. But first can I explain the “why the application” part?

Jedi: You can do whatever you want. This is your thang.

Me: Ok. I just don’t have a better idea for how to begin. And I don’t want to say something like, “Ready? Set? Go!” on some day & time (ugh & eww) and have you guys raise your hand or whatever.

Plus, I’ve got a few questions for you. That if you answer them ahead of time, they’ll help us hit the ground running when we chat. To get you thinkin’ and help you also know, whether this is a good fit.

I want to be able to give everyone a shot at this, but especially my blog subscribers. Those of you who might be on the edge or have followed me for a while or whatever. And it just seems smart to talk about it for a few days before I pull the trigger. Ya know, get my social media tooting on?

So the “accepting applications” period begins immediately and ends April 30th. I want to be vetted and coaching my butt off by May 15th. I’ll take the first 10 applications and pick the four best “fits” for interview chats. Word!

Jedi: Is this gonna be your new deal? Will you be offering free coaching every month?

Me: I have no clue! Ha! At some point near end of May, I’ll evaluate my work load, whether four is the best number, what to do with the waiting list/other vetted peeps and re-announce for June, if I decide to offer it again.

Not a threat, just all the truth I know at this moment.

Jedi: Excellent! That’s a hell YAY to be certain.

Me: Ok, what’s next?

Jedi: Press publish. Oh and here’s the application…